Background: A certain level of public support for smoke-free environments is a prerequisite for adoption and enforcement of policies and can be used as an indicator of readiness for legislative action. This study assessed support for comprehensive smoke-free policies in a range of settings such as hotels and colleges among government workers in China and identified factors associated with support for smoke-free policies. Understanding the extent to which government workers, a large segment of the working population in China, report a smoke-free workplace and support for smoke-free policies may be important indicators of readiness for strengthened policies given their role in formulating, implementing and enforcing regulations.
Methods: Data were from an evaluation of the Tobacco Free Cities initiative of Emory University’s Global Health Institute-China Tobacco Control Partnership. Self-administered surveys were completed by 6,646 workers in 160 government agencies in six Chinese cities. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with support for smoke-free worksites, bars, hotels, and colleges.
Results: Over half (54.6%) of participants were male. A large percentage of the male workers smoked (45.9%,) whereas very few women did (1.9%). Fewer than 50% of government workers reported smoke-free policies at work, with 19.0% reporting that smoking is allowed anywhere. Support for smoke-free policies was generally very high, with the lowest levels of support for smoke-free bars (79.0%) and hotels (82.3%), higher levels of support for restaurants (90.0%) and worksites (93.0%), and above 95% support for hospitals, schools, colleges, public transportation and religious settings. Knowledge of the harmfulness of secondhand smoke was positively associated with support for smoke-free policies. Stricter worksite smoking policies were associated with support for smoke-free workplaces and bars, but not hotels and colleges. Women and nonsmokers were more supportive of smoke-free policies in general.
Conclusion: Government workers play important roles in formulating, implementing and enforcing regulations; results suggest support for a more comprehensive approach to smoke-free environments in China among workers across a broad range of agencies.
Kegler, M., Hua, X., Solomon, M., Wu, Y., Zheng, P., Eriksen, M. (2014). Factors associated with support for smoke-free policies among government workers in six Chinese cities: a cross- sectional study. BMC Public Health, 14(1130): 1-8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1130.
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